Welcome to breakup season: Venus Retrograde is wreaking havoc on our love lives

venus retrograde 2023

Anna Paul and Glen Thompson have broken up after eight years. Lucy Boynton and Rami Malek after five. Rosalia and Rauw ended their engagement on July 25. And everyone's favourite dirtbag chef, Jeremy Allen White, has filed for divorce. Is there something in the air? Do the stars count? Venus is in Retrograde and piles of celebrity couples are calling it quits. Welcome to breakup season.

While there's an instinct to lock your significant other up in the closet in line with this TikTok trend, there's more to Venus Retrograde than relationship chaos. But more on that in a moment. First thing's first, let's get down to what a Retrograde is exactly.

What is a Retrograde?

One of the most dreaded terms in astrology, a Retrograde is a phenomenon that occurs when a planet moves more slowly than earth. It creates an optical illusion where the planet in question appears to orbit in reverse from our perspective on Earth. Naturally, there's a lot of meaning that can be pulled from this visual. This is why, as a rule of thumb, Retrogrades are a time of upheaval. They ask us to reassess our reality, soul-search and measure our values against our actions.

How does Venus fit into all of this?

Venus, the planet that rules over Taurus and Libra, is particularly sensitive to beauty, love, art, style, self-image and relationships. As Venus begins its backwards spin, these are the parts of our life that will be most impacted. It's explains why we're seeing more celebrities break up, not because Venus Retrograde means sudden death for all relationships, but because it may call us to confront resentments, repressed feelings, our own desires, and pleasure. It's a time for establishing boundaries and reassessing our priorities.

People who feel settled and strong in their current relationships need not worry, although Venus Retrograde may inspire a shift in habits and creativity when it comes to romance.

It's important to note that Venus represents our desires, not necessarily our needs. Delineating between impulse and things that are a long time coming can be tricky, and some might find themselves in or out of a partnership only to regret it at the end of the Retrograde. Instead, it might help to actively nurture your current relationships (including the one with yourself, if you're single) rather than agonise over an unpredictable, idyllic future.

Money matters also come into play with Venus in Retrograde. While it's unlikely you'll encounter more of it, it is a good time to reconsider how you spend it, especially as the desire to spend will be high. Think about paying off debts, starting salary negotiations, vying for a high-paid role, creating a budget and actually sticking to it.

While Venus Retrograde occurs every 18 months and usually lasts for 4o days and nights, in 2023, Venus will be in Retrograde for a slightly longer 44 days, so from July 22 until September 3. You have our thoughts and prayers.

What can we expect from a Venus Retrograde in Leo?

If the effects of this Venus Retrograde feel particularly dramatic and outsized, that's probably just Leo's influence. Last time Venus Retrograde took place in Leo season, it was 2015, and the time before that, 2007. The past might be a helpful reference point for what you can expect this time around.

The lion calls for bold solutions and values self-expression, courage and the self. With Venus moving in reverse, don't be surprised if anxieties around confidence, appearance, personal style and authenticity bubble to the surface. While it can be tempting to gloss over these feelings, Venus in Leo demands to be seen and affirmed. Write your feelings down, share them with a confidant, express yourself in creative acts, by which I meant painting, singing, dancing, even pottery. More importantly, don't be afraid to try new things, whether that's a new makeup look or a new tradition with your partner. Say it with me: Leo calls for bold solutions.

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